The other day a bloke I know called me a duck. I pondered this for a second thinking maybe he had mispronounced the “f” word. Then because I thought about it I got confused and had to ask him what he meant.
He explained that while I looked calm on the surface, he knew that I was furiously kicking away to keep on keeping on.
Oh………right. Now I get it.
And you know what? In this case that bloke was 100% right. Which is lucky since he’s usually 100% wrong about me.
But I was a bit taken aback since I haven’t known him for more than a few months and he’s got no idea what I’m all about, or made too many efforts to get to know me, so who was he to make that kind of call about me? Even if it was right.
Then it got me to thinking about how we can all make assumptions about people without ever bothering to actually find out if our conclusions are correct.
Take for example the fact that I have tattoos, more than one piercing, partake in the consumption of alcohol and want to play the drums. Some of the people in my life (who may or may not be accountants) have learnt this about me and since assumed I am a brainless, uneducated, unmotivated bogan. *cue crickets chirping*
Why should I care what this bunch of people think of me anyway?
In their defence I have probably done little to discourage that notion. Partly because it’s too hard to argue with someone who has already made up their mind about someone and partly because it’s kind of fun to keep feeding their assumptions and see where it ends up. I know, I know! I’m mischievous like that.
But in all reality I’m fairly conservative and not a fan of taking a risk until I have thoroughly assessed each possible scenario and how it may play out. I enjoy the arts, cinema that makes you think, reading, politics and a heated debate on any of those things. Add into the mix that I have a hyperactive business brain and a kick arse work ethic and their assumptions start to look a little bit shaky.
Yes I like my tattoos a lot. Yes I enjoy my piercings. Yes I adore the drums even though I am terrible at them. Yes I like the occasional drink…or more. But that’s not all that I am.
Yet I have to confess that I have previously done that exact same thing to some people in my world. You would know from my other articles though that it is something I am very keen to change. Now I approach each encounter with a new person with as open a mind as I can muster. If I fall into my old habits of judging someone too quickly, I will actively get to know them better to make an informed assessment of them.
It’s a struggle but I’m trying folks.
But still we all see it every day and we all do it all the time. We judge people walking down the street on their clothes, their ethnicity, their weight, their mood. What we always forget is that we are seeing a snapshot of that person at that particular time, not them as a whole. The person in the less than perfect outfit? They may be a high flying professional on a rare day off. That fat chick walking past you? She may have already lost 30kg and be as proud as anything of herself. The cranky guy exuding misery and darkness? He may just be having a bad day. None of those things define us.
So let me throw this challenge out to each and every one of you. Next time you find yourself making a quick judgment on someone, take a step back and have another look. You may just be surprised.
P.S. I mean if I was still a judgmental arsehole I would have already decided that all accountants lacked personality and were socially stunted with hobbies that included rare stamp collecting and buying/selling porcelain dolls online…..oh crap….*cue crickets chirping again*………